New Delhi: Amid rising protests across the country, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019. The Bill, which will be tabled in the Parliament next week, seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh if they face persecution in their respective countries. Also Read - Bringing Citizenship Amendment Bill Will be Dishonour to Freedom Fighters: Owaisi
Before introducing the bill in the cabinet, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had held extensive talks with several politicians, activists and chief ministers of northeastern states. Also Read - ‘No Country For Muslims,’ Says Mehbooba Mufti’s Daughter on Citizenship Amendment Bill
As per updates, the inner line permit areas in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland and some regions under the Sixth Schedule in the Northeast have been exempted from the bill. Also Read - Explained | What is the Much-Debated Citizenship Amendment Bill & Why Has it Caused A Controversy?
However, the move from the Centre has not gone down well with many political leaders who feel the bill is discriminatory in nature towards Muslims. Here are the top reactions from them.
Asaduddin Owaisi: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi took strong exception to the bill and said bringing it to the Parliament will be a dishonour to the freedom fighters of the country. “Bringing the CAB will be a dishonour to our freedom fighters because you will be reviving the two-nation theory. As an Indian Muslim, I rejected Jinnah’s theory now you are making a law wherein, unfortunately, you will be reminding the nation of two-nation theory,” he said.
Brinda Karat: CPI-M leader Brinda Karat slammed the BJP government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and said the move clearly indicates that it is a part of BJP’s divisive agenda. “It is a part of the divisive agenda of the BJP. They are changing the base of the citizenship, which is the Constitution and want to connect it with the religion. It is really wrong. The people who have loyalty towards Constitution will oppose this Bill,” she said.
Pramod Tiwari: Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said, “When the Bill is tabled in Parliament, then we can say anything on it. For the Congress party, the national interest is primary. We will read the Bill and make sure that there is no loss to the Constitutional values.”
Shashi Tharoor: Senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor strongly opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and called it ‘fundamentally unconstitutional’. He also went on to say that it violates the basic idea of the country. “I think the Bill is fundamentally unconstitutional as basic idea of India has been violated in it. Those who believe that religion should determine nationhood which was the idea of Pakistan,” he said.
Iltija Javed: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s daughter Iltija Javed took to Twitter to slam the Centre for the bill and said India is not a country for Muslims anymore. “India – No country for Muslims,” a post on the Twitter handle of Mehbooba Mufti reads. It was posted by her daughter as she is under detention post the abrogation of Article 370 in the Valley.
Ravi Kishan: BJP MP Ravi Kishan had a defending voice for the bill, saying India is a Hindu country with Hindus being in the majority. “Population of Hindus is 100 crores. So obviously India is a Hindu country. Many Muslim and Christian countries are there also, so it is amazing that we have a country called Bharat to keep alive our culture,” he said this in support of the bill.
Apart from these leaders, the bill has also been slammed by minority outfits and others for leaving out the Muslims and also on the ground that it is at odds with the Constitution.